Getting Started with the cRIO-4408

Publish Date: Dec 07, 2008 | 1 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 |  PDF


This document contains information related to connecting, configuring, using, and updating the National Instruments (NI) cRIO-4408 reconfigured CompactRIO dynamic signal acquisition (DSA) system. The cRIO-4408 is a fixed-personality compactRIO system with cRIO-9233 24-bit Integrated Electronic Piezoelectric (IEPE) analog input modules in an embedded cRIO-9101 four-slot chassis.

Table of Contents

  1. Related Documentation
  2. Installing the Software
  3. Connecting the cRIO-4408
  4. Configuring the Network
  5. Configuring the cRIO-4408 Network Settings
  6. Theory of Operation
  7. Acquiring Data
  8. Updating or Reinstalling the Software
  9. Performance Optimizations
  10. System Limitations
  11. Real-Time Project Source Code

1. Related Documentation

The following documents are included in the cRIO-4408 kit and contain important information concerning the operation and individual components of your cRIO-4408 system. For more information, details, or specifications not covered here, refer to the following documents:

  • CompactRIO cRIO-9233 Operating Instructions
  • CompactRIO cRIO-9002/9004 Operating Instructions
  • CompactRIO Reconfigurable Embedded System Installation Instructions
  • Measurement & Automation Explorer Help

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2. Installing the Software

Minimum System Requirements

You must have the following software installed on the host computer:

  • Windows 2000/XP
  • LabVIEW 7.1 or later

NI-RIO Driver Software

Before you begin connecting or configuring the cRIO-4408, you must install the NI-RIO 1.3 or later driver and Measurement & Automation Explorer (MAX) 3.1.1. Insert the NI-RIO Driver CD included with the cRIO-4408 and follow the instructions to install the NI-RIO driver and MAX.

Additional Software

If you purchased any additional software with the cRIO-4408, such as the Sound and Vibration Toolkit, insert the CD and follow the installation instructions.

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3. Connecting the cRIO-4408

This section describes how to connect power and a host system to the cRIO-4408 system.

Connecting Power
Your cRIO-4408 system comes fully assembled. However, you must still connect power to the system and the system to a host computer. You can connect one or two power supplies to the cRIO-4408 system as shown in the following figure. For more information about supplying power to the cRIO-4408, refer to the CompactRIO cRIO-9002/9004 Operating Instructions. The following diagram shows how to wire two power supplies to the cRIO-4408.

Connecting a Host System
For full performance and throughput NI recommends connecting the cRIO-4408 directly to the host system with a CAT-5 crossover cable as shown in the following figure.

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4. Configuring the Network

NI recommends configuring a private network between the cRIO-4408 and the host system. To configure the private network, you will need to allocate IP numbers to the host system and the remote cRIO system on your network.

Note: NI recommends you use an additional network adapter card if you need to access a local area or wireless network while connected to the cRIO-4408 on a private network.

Choosing a network number
The Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) has reserved the following three blocks of IP address space for private internets:

  • -
  • -
  • -

You must assign a unique IP number to each machine on the private network. For example, you can assign to the host machine and to the remote system. You must put the host and remote systems on the same subnet. The subnet mask is

Setting a Static IP Address
If the host system is a laptop or desktop which is only connected directly to the cRIO-4408, you can manually configure the TCP/IP settings. You can use the alternate configuration functionality to maintain seamless operations on both office and private network without having to manually reconfigure the TCP/IP settings. Choose whichever method best applies to your system configuration and connectivity needs.

Note: You must be logged onto the host system as an Administrator in order to change network settings. Contact your system administrator if you do not have the necessary privileges.

To configure TCP/IP settings for the host system complete the following steps:

  1. Open Network Connections (accessible through Control Panel)
  2. Right-click the appropriate Local Area Connection and select Properties. On the General tab, under This connection uses the following items, click Internet Protocol (TCP/IP), and then click Properties.
  3. To specify an IP address click Use the following IP address, and enter the IP address and subnet mask.

    Note: Clicking Use the following IP address causes the Alternate Configuration tab to disappear. If at a later time you wish to configure an alternate configuration, open the TCP/IP properties window and click Obtain an IP address automatically. The Alternate Configuration tab should reappear.

Setting Up an Alternate Configuration
You can use the alternate configuration functionality to maintain seamless operations on both office and private networks without having to manually reconfigure TCP/IP settings. This feature specifies that TCP/IP use an alternate configuration if the computer does not find a dynamic host configuration protocol (DHCP) server. The alternate configuration functionality is useful in situations where you need to connect the host computer to a LAN with a DHCP server when it is not operating as part of the data acquisition system. When on the LAN, the computer uses a DHCP-allocated TCP/IP configuration. When you cable directly to the cRIO-4408, the computer automatically uses the alternate configuration.

To configure TCP/IP for an alternate configuration on the host system, complete the following steps:

  1. On the Alternate Configuration tab, click User configured and then type the appropriate values for the IP address and Subnet mask. No other settings are required for private networks.
  2. Click OK.

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5. Configuring the cRIO-4408 Network Settings

To configure the network settings for the cRIO-4408, complete the following steps:

  1. Power on the controller by connecting power and open MAX by double-clicking on the icon or selecting Measurement & Automation from the Windows Start menu.
  2. In the Configuration pane, select Remote Systems»[Remote System Name] where [Remote System Name] is the cRIO-4408 system name. The default name is cRIO-4408 as shown in the following figure.
  3. In the IP Settings window click Edit the IP settings to specify a static IP address and subnet mask. Type in the IP address and Subnet mask. You will need to specify a static IP address if you are using a crossover cable to directly connect the cRIO-4408 to the host computer. In this case, both the Gateway and DNS server fields have to be blank or set to zeroes. If the network uses a DHCP server and you are not directly cabling the cRIO-4408 to the host computer with a crossover cable, click the Obtain IP address from the DHCP server option button.
  4. Enter a new name in the Name field of the Identification window to change the cRIO-4408 name, if desired.
  5. Click Apply to apply the changes. You may receive a warning stating the cRIO-4408 and the gateway are on different subnets if you did not enter an IP address in the Gateway field. Click Yes to safely ignore this warning.
  6. Click Yes to reboot the cRIO-4408 when prompted. If you do not wish to reboot the cRIO-4408, click No. Reboot the cRIO-4408 at a later time by selecting the cRIO-4408 and clicking the Reboot button at the top of the MAX window.
  7. Wait several seconds for MAX to reestablish a connection with the cRIO-4408. Verify that the new settings are reflected in the Configuration pane. Verify the connection status by looking at the indicator at the bottom of the MAX window as shown in the following figure.

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6. Theory of Operation

The following block diagram shows an operational overview of the cRIO-4408 and host computer.

The cRIO-4408 automatically starts a LabVIEW Real-Time Module executable when powered on and after completing the boot cycle. The USER1 LED on the cRIO-9002 controller begins blinking when the software loads, indicating that the cRIO-4408 is ready to receive a connection. The executable contains the LabVIEW FPGA Module code that provides a fixed personality for acquiring data from the cRIO-9233 DSA modules. Once loaded, the LabVIEW Real-Time Module executable waits for an incoming TCP/IP connection from the host in order to pass control messages. The system establishes a second TCP/IP connection for transferring data back to the host when the host initiates an acquisition. The USER1 LED remains lit until the acquisition finishes or an error occurs after establishing a connection with a host system.

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7. Acquiring Data

The cRIODSA driver library provides five cRIO DSA driver VIs to acquire data with the cRIO-4408:

  • cRIODSA Configure VI
  • cRIODSA Start VI
  • cRIODSA Read VI
  • cRIODSA Stop VI
  • cRIODSA Clear VI

The driver VIs and examples are available in the in the download section.

You do not need to use the cRIODSA Stop VI if you use the cRIODSA Clear VI. Use the cRIODSA Stop VI in start and stop operations, such as starting and stopping an acquisition with the same configuration. For more information about using the VIs and the VI parameters, refer to the documentation and context help in the VI. Refer to the VIs included in the cRIODSA examples library for examples of how to use the driver VIs within your application.

TCP/IP Ports Used for the Acquisition
The cRIO-4408 uses two TCP/IP ports to acquire data. One port passes control messages between the host and the cRIO-4408, and the second port transfers the acquired data to the host. By default, the data port is 6555, and the control port is 5555. Complete the following steps to change the TCP/IP ports if the port configuration conflicts with existing applications on the network:

Changing the TCP Data Port

  1. Create a control or a constant to specify an available TCP port number on the TCP Data Port control in the cRIODSA Config VI.

Changing the TCP Control Port
I. Changing the TCP Control Port on the Host Application

  1. Create a control or a constant to specify an available TCP port number on the TCP Comm Port control in the cRIODSA Config VI.

II. Changing the TCP Control Port on the cRIO-4408

  1. Open an FTP session with the cRIO-4408.
  2. Get the NI4408.ini file from c:\NI4408.ini on the cRIO-4408. If you are prompted for a username or password, leave both fields blank.
  3. Change the port number, located after the TCPControlPort: token, to the one specified in the TCP Comm Port parameter in cRIODSA Config VI.
  4. Open an FTP session with the cRIO-4408 and send the modified NI4408.ini file from the host to the cRIO-4408.
  5. Restart the cRIO-4408 either manually using the reset button on the front of the cRIO-9002 controller or from MAX.

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8. Updating or Reinstalling the Software

The cRIO-4408 application software is preinstalled on the cRIO-4408 by NI. The cRIO-4408 requires no further software installation. However, if the cRIO-4408 files become corrupted or modified and you must reinstall the software, download the following files and complete the following steps:

  1. Copy the cRIO-4408 file available in the attached file to the host computer. 
  2. Unzip the files into a folder.
  3. Set the SAFE MODE switch on the 9002 Controller to the ON position.
  4. Turn the power to the controller on and connect it to the host computer.
  5. Get the IP Address of the cRIO-4408 from MAX and use ftp to transfer the contents of RIO-4408 to the cRIO-4408.
  6. Set the SAFE MODE switch back to the OFF position. Set all switches on the controller to OFF.
  7. Restart the cRIO-4408.
  8. In MAX, reset the IP Address. Reset the cRIO-4408.

The cRIO-4408 is ready to operate and work with the host VIs.

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9. Performance Optimizations

The cRIO-4408 can operate on any Ethernet network. However, to achieve the best data throughput from the cRIO-4408 to the host, minimize the amount of extraneous traffic and the number of hubs and routers between the cRIO-4408 and host. NI recommends creating a private network using a crossover cable to directly connect the host computer to the cRIO-4408. This ensures Ethernet traffic from other machines and latencies caused by hubs and routers does not affect the data acquisition. Cabled Ethernet works more reliably than wireless Ethernet since it generally has a higher transmission quality and lower latency.

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10. System Limitations

The cRIO-4408 currently has the following limitations:

  • The maximum number of channels sampling at 50 kS/s in a sustained acquisition is four.
  • You may use only one cRIO-4408 per LabVIEW instance on the host system.

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11. Real-Time Project Source Code

The cRIO-4408 source code can be obtained below if additional modifications or enhancements are required.


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